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April 13, 2009

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Classroom Policies

Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
Phone: 813-974-9496

Contact Me
with questions,

ENL 6236:Eighteenth-Century
Women Authors

    Spring 2009
    Time: Monday 3:05-5:50p
    Room: CPR 343

    Office Hours: T 10-12; W 3-5, and by appointment.
    Please schedule appointments through Lee Davidson ( even for office hours. Thank you.

      This course has been designed to meet the following objectives:

    • For students to be able to identify and discuss major female authors and their texts circa 1660-1800
    • For students to construct a literary, critical and historical context for women writers and their works
    • For students to raise questions about the literature and scholarship in this class and develop habits of critical inquiry and research
    • For students to become “expert readers” of eighteenth-century British literature and cultural texts
    • For students to become familiar with the scholarship of the literature and to practice the conventions of scholarly reading and writing
    • For students to develop an original critical argument on the scholarship and interpretation of the literature in a fifteen to twenty page essay

  • Related Sites
  • Classroom Policies
  • Eighteenth-Century Research References

Required Texts

Writing Women’s Literary History, Margaret J. Ezell, Johns Hopkins UP, 1996

Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology, ed. Roger Lonsdale (Oxford UP, 1990)

Behn, Aphra, Oroonoko and Other Writings, ed. Paul Salzman (Oxford UP, 1998)

Eliza Haywood, The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, ed. Christine Blouch, Broadview Press, 1998

Lennox, Charlotte, The Female Quixote, ed. Margaret Dalziel, Oxford UP, 1998

Burney, Frances, Evelina, ed. Edward Bloom, Viven Jones, 2nd ed, Oxford UP, 2002, reissued 2008.

Smith, Charlotte. Desmond, ed. Antje Blank and Janet Todd, Broadview, 2001

Barbauld, Anna Letitia, Selected Poetry and Prose, eds. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft, Broadview 2002

Recommended Texts

I've put these on reserve; Backscheider may be missing.

Women and Literature in Britain, 1700-1800, ed. Vivien Jones, Cambridge UP, 2000

Staves, Susan, A Literary History of Women's Writing in Britain, 1660-1789, Cambridge, 2006

Backscheider, Paula, Eighteenth-century Women Poets and Their Poetry: Inventing Agency, Inventing Genre, Johns Hopkins UP, 2005.

Electronic Media

For an general introduction to computing facilities and classes at USF, see USF Academic Computing Home Page.

This class will be interacting with the Blackboard website for ENL6236.001S09, to be located on your MY USF website. To register and log in, visit .

You will find the discussion board for your weekly informal postings on this Blackboard site, and I will also post course documents, messages and further information about the class on this site. We will maintain a discussion board and a WIKI site through Blackboard. Grades will be posted on the Blackboard site.

My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites on literature, etc.

Other important websites will be listed in the schedule of reading and following the assignments.

Eighteenth-Century Research References An extensive list of eighteenth-century scholarship and resources available at our library.

Please note, individual class notes will be linked to the website at the date. These links will be updated weekly. All assignments must be read in full before the date of discussion.


Date Class
Jan. 5 Introductions/Assignments
Jan 12 Ezell, Writing Women’s Literary History
Jones, chapter 8, “(Re)Discovering Women’s Texts” by Isobel Grundy
Judith Phillips Stanton, “Statistical Profile of Women Writing in English from 1660-1800.” In Eighteenth-Century Women and the Arts, edited by Susan E. Lorsch. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988 (Course Docs)
Staves, "Introduction," pp. 1-26.
Post #1 Due
Jan 19 MLK Day, NO CLASS, continue reading
Post #2 Due
Jan 26 Aphra Behn, Oroonoko and Other Writings
Recommended: Jones, chapter 3, “Women and Race: ‘a difference of complexion’” by Felicity Nussbaum
and Staves, Chapter 1, pp. 27-90.
Post #3 Due
Feb. 2 Lonsdale: Introduction and poems by Ann Finch, Mary Barber, Elizabeth Singer Rowe
Recommended: Jones, chapter 10, “Women Poets of the Eighteenth Century” by Margaret Ann Doody
Backscheider, "Plan of the Book," "Introduction," and Ch. 2 "Ann Finch and What Women Wrote" through page 79
Post #4 Due
Feb. 9 Eliza Haywood, The History of Betsy Thoughtless Introduction and Vols. I-II
Post #5 Due
Feb. 16 Eliza Haywood, The History of Betsy Thoughtless Vols III-IV
Recommended: Appendices to the volume and Jones, chapter 4 “Women’s Status as legal and civic subjects: ‘A Worse Condition than Slavery itself’?” by Gillian Skinner
Staves, Chapter 4 pp 166-227.
Post #6 Due
Feb. 23 Lonsdale: poems of Mary Leapor, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Jane Brereton and Anna Seward; selected letters of Wortley Montague (website)
Recommended: Staves, chapter 5 pp. 228-285 and
Backscheider, Chaps. 5 and 7
Post #7 Due
Mar. 2 Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote
Recommended: Jones, chapter 1, “Writings on education and conduct: arguments for female improvement” by Katherine Sutherland
Staves, chapter 5 again
Post #8 Due
Mar. 9 Anna Letitia Barbauld, Selected Poetry and Prose
Recommended: Jones, chapter 2, “Eighteenth-century Femininity: ‘A Supposed Sexual Character,” by Harriet Guest
Staves, chapter 6
Backscheider, in passim
Post #9 Due
Mar. 23 Frances Burney, Evelina, Introduction and Vols. I-II
Post #10 Due
Mar 30 Frances Burney, Evelina, Vol. III
Recommended: Appendices to volume and Jones, Chapter 5, “Women in Families: the Great Disinheritance,” by Ruth Perry
Post #11 Due
Apr. 6 Lonsdale: poems of, Charlotte Smith, Helen Maria Williams and Mary Robinson
Backscheider, Chapter 8
Post #12 Due
Apr. 13 Charlotte Smith, Desmond, Introduction and Vols. I-II
Post #13 Due
Apr. 20 Charlotte Smith, Desmond, Vols. III-IV
Recommended: Appendices to Volume and Jones, chapter 7 “Women and the Rise of the Novel: Sexual Prescripts” by Ros Ballaster
Post #14 Due

Graded Assignments

Participation -- 5%

Weekly posts (min. 250 words) -- 20%

Scholarship Presentation (approx. 3 pages or about 900 words posted to WIKI) -- 20%

Response on WIKI (min. 100 words / week) -- 10%

Critical Research Essay (15-20 pages) -- 45%

This syllabus is subject to change.

** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

    Description of Graded Assignments

    For information on how these assigments will be graded, please see Grading Scales.


    Students are expected to be present and active for each class. Full participation includes preparation of all readings; completion of writing assigments outside and inside class; active listening and questioning; respect for and interaction with other members of the class. Periodic self-evaluations for participation may be required throughout the term and used in conjuction with attendance records for grading this assignment.

    Weekly Posts:

    For general description and specific requirements of this assignment, see my webpage on weekly posts. For each class, I will post a series of discussion questions and related information about the day’s reading. From this list, you can choose a question to focus your writing. Also, try to incorporate the ideas and observations made in other posts by your classmates. It is your responsibility to read the posts before answering a question. Choose a question that has not been fully addressed previously. If the question you want has been answered well, move onto another question until all the questions have been answered. These posts are due by midnight the night before class so that everyone will be able to read them.

    Scholarship Presentation

    Beginning January 26, one student each week will choose and introduce a scholarly article on the reading for that week. The student should identify the article and provide the citation for the class on the assignment wiki on Blackboard AT LEAST ONE WEEK BEFORE IT IS DUE. All members of the class will be responsible for reading the essay and discussing it in class. The student presenter will write a 3-5 page critical summation and evaluation of the article to be turned in for a grade. This should also be posted to the class WIKI. The presentation/summation should include the following information: full citation, statement of the article's thesis or main argument, outline of main points, discussion of evidence and support, description of critical methods used, summary of the argument, use value of the article, assessment of the validity of the arguments, and at least four critical discussion questions or directions for further research. Articles must be published between 1990 and 2009 unless the article has achieved classic status; please check with me ahead of time. Students may elect to use the recommended reading (chapters from Jones, Staves or Backsceider) as their article or consult some of the bibliographies below. These reports are due to the WIKI by Friday before class by noon. Please submit a formatted copy to the instructor by email.

    Response to scholarship presentation

    Each week students are required to read the scholarship summation before class and add a substantive comment (minimum 100 words) in the comment section of the WIKI page. These informal posts should be critical reflections on the reports, designed for public posting and discussion. The subject should ALWAYS be the report itself, not the writer. The audience is our class. The tone should be professional: critical but reasonable and with minimal unselfconscious emotional reaction.

    Each response should be a minimum of 100 words and engage in the critical conversation around the report. Some ideas you might want to consider in forming your responses follow:

  • Did the author clearly identify the article's main point?

  • Does the summation ignore any significant points that you would like to address?

  • Does he or she offer an assessment based on the information presented?

  • What are the implications of the information presented?

  • What intellectual values (or other) are at stake in the position taken?
  • How does this information relate to the texts we have read for class?

  • What did you learn from this article evaluation?

  • What questions does this summation inspire?

    Responses are due by noon on Monday. They will be evaluated on the basis of competence in writing and reasoning, on the lucidity of points and questions raised, on promptitude and effort to engage in critical conversation.

    Critical Research Essay

    The culmination of the course will be an independently written scholarly essay of fifteen to twenty pages. Your weekly posts and your presentation of a scholarly article should prepare you with numerous ideas relevant to current scholarship on eighteenth-century women writers. Aim to develop an idea that is complex enough to sustain a critical argument of at least fifteen pages. Beginning the week after spring break, students should schedule an appointment to meet with me to discuss the topic, thesis, research and organization of your paper. Your model for this paper is a short, published scholarly article. In other words, you should situate your view within current scholarship and construct a careful argument based in textual analysis, criticism and current ideas. This will be due the last week of class.

    You can conduct further research by checking the library references I have provided in my list of “Eighteenth-century Reference and Research” This includes both online sources and indexes and materials housed in the reference section of the library. Call numbers are provided.

  • Related Sites


    • Jim May's Bibliographies -- C18-L This selective checklist, partially annotated, enumerates printed sources for studying the period 1660-1820 published since 1988. It combines the lists of bibliographic tools compiled by Jim May for the September 1998, January 1999, and May 1999 issues of the East-Central Intelligencer, the newsletter-journal I edit for the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
    • 18C Bibliographies on-line Maintained by Jack Lynch, one of the many excellent on-line resources on general studies in eighteenth-century scholarship.
    • Eighteenth-century Women and Poetry Bibliography for an undergraduate course on 18thC Women and poetry by Professor Percy at University of Toronto.
    • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Feminist Bibliography: Some Selections
    • Women and Eighteenth-Century English Literature, Part One A Checklist of General Resources, with Some Entries Relating to Earlier Centuries, to the Colonies, and to Other Nationalities By Martin Maner, Wright State University
    • Women and Eighteenth-Century English Literature, Part Two A highly recommended bibliography, partially annotated, of secondary sources. This list of books and articles is provided as a resource for scholars studying women in eighteenth-century England. You may download it in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format in order to carry out full-text searches using your word processor's "find" function. Please cite this page if you make scholarly use of it.

    General Sites on Women's Literature

    • The Celebration of Women Writers -- an extensive alphabetized catalogue of women writers and their texts with many useful links.
    • Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color An extensive site devoted to biographies, criticism, essays and links to numerous women writers of color, African-American, Asian-American, Chicana , Native American. It is a work in progress with a collaborative spirit.

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